Sony WH-CH700N Review

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If you’ve been following the channel for a while you know I absolutely love the Sony 1000XM2 cause of their ANC performance. But I know dropping $350 on a pair of headphones is a lot for some people. So lets check out Sony’s newest and cheapest ANC headphones the WH-CH700N and lets see how the ANC on these guys stacks up with the ANC on the 1000XM2. 

Ok, from here on out I’m going to be referring to these headphones as the 700N’s. These headphones come in either black, silver or blue color ways and they currently retail for $199.99. And like I mentioned earlier, the 1000XM2’s usually retail for $350. If you want to pick either of these headphones up I’ll have links in the description below, and if you use the links it really helps out the channel. I suggest you check them out cause Sony headphones routinely go on sale so you might get lucky. 

First lets go over what comes in the box cause I was genuinely surprised that these headphones didn’t come included with at least a carrying pouch. Regardless, I still recommend you invest in a hardshell carrying case if you plan on traveling a lot with these headphones. These headphones do come included with a 3.5 millimeter audio cable and a short micro USB cable for charging and thats it. These headphones also have a lot in common with the Sony XB950N1… particularly when it comes to the plastic body panels. The plastic on the 700N’s is more textured whereas the 1000XM2’s plastic is completely smooth. The 700N’s also have a stainless steel headband and synthetic leather on the ear cups which is pretty standard issue for sony. But they are very light weight coming in at just 234 grams. Where as the 1000XM2’s weigh in at 277 grams. 

When it comes to fit compered to the 1000XM2’s, the 700N’s giveth and they taketh. First up the 700N’s fit very snug, but keep in mind I have a big head… but the 700N’s have the most clamping force out of sony’s headphone line up, but they’re not uncomfortable. Since the ear cups pivot and swivel a good deal they are able to conform to most head types. The only bummer is that they don’t fold up. The padding on the 700N’s also isn’t as soft as the padding found on the 1000XM2’s but again they still manage to be comfortable. But what I do like about the 700N’s is their ear cup design… they’re much roomier than the ear cups on the 1000XM2’s but they manage to stay very low profile. They also do a slightly better job of preventing over heating. These are boarder line Big Head Approved… but if you want a loser fit with a $200 budget then you’ll be better off with the Audio-Technica ANC700BT, link for that review up above. 

If we look at the left ear cup you’re going to see your noise cancellation button to toggle ANC on or off, theres an easily accessible 3.5 millimeter audio jack for passive listening, theres your micro USB cable for charging, and the power button. It is important to keep in mind that these headphones do not have an ambient sound setting like the 1000XM2’s and like I’ve said in the past, I would have very much preferred if these headphones used a USB-C port instead. I thought Sony would have had jumped on USB-C by now. 

The right ear cup houses the control buttons which are very similar to the control buttons found on the XB950N1’s. Theres a volume rocker so you can adjust the volume and theres a switch so you can quickly skip or go back a track. And if you press it in you can play or pause your music. And I really like these controls cause you can quickly and easily skim through your music. Even faster than the touch controls used on the Sony 1000XM2 which I’m not hating on cause they’re very accurate, but not as fast as the physical rocker. Its also important to keep in mind that both the 700N’s and 1000XM2’s will support Google assistant in the near future like the Bose QC35 series II. That feature hasn’t been released yet, but just know its coming. But in the mean time you can summon your voice assistant by pressing and holding the rocker down. 

Just like the 1000XM2’s the 700N’s is using bluetooth 4.1 and they have a range of about 40 feet with direct line of sight. The connection on these headphones is very stable and there weren’t many issues if there was a wall or two between the headphones and my phone. These headphones are also pretty good for watching video cause their latency isn’t that bad. But, these headphones can only be connected to one device at a time some if you’re a power user it might be a set back, its one of the things I hate most about the 1000XM2.

But the 700N’s have an extraordinary long battery life. Sony advertises a battery life of 35 hours, and with ANC and bluetooth turned on and with the volume set at 50% these headphones averaged 37 hours of play back time. And with the ANC turned off these guys managed to hit 45 hours playback time. And even though their battery life is impressive… their quick charging isn’t. If you plug them in for 10 minutes they'll only get you an hour of playback time which is laughable compared to other headphones out there. 

When it comes to the active noise cancelation on the 700N’s obviously its not going to be as good as the ANC on the 1000XM2. The ANC on the 700N manages to block out a good amount of road noise for when you’re on the bus, but when it comes to blocking out chatter the 700N’s don’t really do much. But like the 1000XM2 the 700N’s don’t have any noticeable cabin pressure. 

And like I mentioned earlier, the 700N’s don’t have the ambient sound feature which allows you to pump in some of the surrounding sounds, and they also don’t have quick attention which is by far my favorite feature found on the 1000XM2. 

When it comes to sound quality, the 700N’s have a surprising amount of bass. And through Sony’s headphone app you can go in adjust the EQ on these headphones. So if you want you can crank up the bass to a 10 or you can bring the mids outs and put an emphasis on the vocalists. But definitely these headphones do not share the same clarity and wide sound stage found on the 1000XM2. No matter how much I played around with the EQ on the 700N there just wasn’t enough instrument separation… so everything just sounds close together. And these headphones don’t really sound that different with ANC turned on or off. But if you’re going to be listening to music out in public just know these headphones do have a considerable amount of sound leakage.

Through Sony’s app you can also toggle ANC on or off but you can’t adjust how strong you want it. You can also play around with the surround setting on these headphones, but since all that feature does is distort the music I typically keep that feature turned off. 

So for $200 the ANC on the Sony WH-CH700N is really only worth using for your bus ride commute to school or work or in an already quite office. If you’re walking around in the city or in a much noiseier environment like an airport the ANC on the 700N’s isn’t going to do much. I just cant stress how good the ANC on the 1000XM2 is. But in general they are a pretty good buy cause they have good build quality for $200 headphones and they fit very well, just as long as you don’t have a big head. They have a very long battery life which makes them great for everyday carry, their low latency make them good for watching videos but they don’t sound amazing… just good enough.